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SAFETY CORNER Driver Turnover


BY KENT ERNST MCM Safety Director


There is plenty of information out


there—data that tells us driver turnover is surging. It is the result of fleet mergers, an aging driver workforce entering retirement, increased medical and physical qualifications and negative safe driving histories restricting drivers from the employment roster. This all adds up to more demand than supply and makes it easier for a good driver to jump ship; or in our case, to jump trucks. If it is relatively easy for a good driver to


find other employment, then retention of good drivers should be a priority for every employer in the trucking industry.


It is


interesting to note that employers tend to think this automatically equates to higher wages, but this is not necessarily so and there are plenty of professional human resource statistics that indicate “show me the money” may not be employees’ biggest demand. Relationships between employer and


employee are the strongest glue in keeping your drivers attached to your company.


If


you are an employer, understand that your dispatchers, yard foremen, technicians, safety managers, dock personnel and others in your business have much to do with that driver relationship. It only takes one to destroy the hard work of many. One very important aspect of employer/ employee relationships is safety.


Is


the personal safety program for your organization’s drivers driven by compliance, mandates and an “or else”, or is it promoted as an extension of your company’s real personal concern for those who work for you? A good driver is a very important asset to your company. Even more so when you consider other companies are working hard to bribe them away from your employment. Your concern and involvement in their health and wellbeing is required preventive maintenance to retain this valuable asset. If you revisit the driving force behind your


safety program and make it more personal, you’ll not only have better results, you’ll help


ROADWISE |


A GOOD DRIVER IS A VERY IMPORTANT ASSET TO YOUR COMPANY…YOUR


CONCERN AND INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR HEALTH ANDWELLBEING IS REQUIRED


PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE TO RETAIN THIS VALUABLE ASSET.


build a relationship that provides a good return on investment resulting in better loss control though safety and the added benefit of employee retention. Something as simple as making sure every power unit has an applicable inventory of personal protection equipment, and then telling your driver that you would really like to see him or her use it and to please stay safe, helps build that needed relationship. It is also a pertinent concern that when


you lose a driver, don’t be so quick to just hire another driver and fill the empty slot. The pressure is there, but hiring without


ISSUE 5, 2012 | www.mttrucking.org


understanding the need for a safe driver (this includes personal driver safety awareness as well as truck and road safety) can result in an unwanted expense within both hard asset loss control and worker’s compensation liability. Today’s business model includes safety


from the top down and the bottom up. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Everyone needs to know that everyone else actually cares, or at least someone cares. A company is not a ‘someone’, but a ‘something’; unless you make the effort to cause it to become personal. Think about it! RW


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